|Spirituality For Life|
|Page: Exploring Spirituality|
Exploring and embracing spirituality can lead to a clearer life purpose.
What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality has many definitions. At its core, spirituality helps to give our lives context. It’s not necessarily connected to a specific belief system or even religious worship. Instead, it arises from your connection with yourself and with others, the development of your personal value system, and your search for meaning in life. For many, this takes the form of religious observance, prayer, meditation, and a belief in a higher power (God). For others, it can be found in nature, music, art, or a secular community.
How Can Spirituality Help You?
Spirituality may help you:
1. Focus on personal goals. Cultivating your spirituality may help uncover what’s most meaningful in your life – in other words, to clarify and focus on what’s important to you.
2. Connect to the world. If you feel you have a purpose in the world, you may feel less solitary – even when you’re alone. This can lead to an inner peace during difficult times.
3. Release control. When you feel part of a greater whole, you realise that you aren’t responsible for everything that happens in life. You can share the burden of tough times as well as the joys of life’s blessings with those around you.
4. Expand your support network. Whether you find spirituality in a church, mosque, or synagogue, in your family, or in walks with a friend through nature, this sharing of spiritual expression can help build relationships.
5. Lead a healthier life. Some research indicates that people who consider themselves spiritual may be better able to cope with stress and illness or disease.
Nurture Your Spirituality
Spirituality begins with your relationship with yourself, is nurtured by your relationships with others, and culminates in a sense of purpose in life. To nurture your spirituality:
1. Try prayer, meditation, and relaxation techniques to help focus your thoughts.
2. Keep a journal to help you express your feelings and record your progress.
3. Seek out a trusted adviser or friend who can help you discover what’s important to you in life.
4. Read inspirational stories to help you assess different philosophies in life.
5. Talk to others whose spiritual lives you admire.
6. Be open to new experiences. If you’re exploring organised religion, consider a variety of different faiths. If your spirituality is more secular, consider trying new experiences in the arts.
7. Make relationships with friends and family a priority, and stay in touch.
8. See the good in people and in yourself.
Remember that spirituality is a constantly evolving internal journey. Your personal definition of spirituality may change with your age and life experiences, but you can rely on it to help affirm your purpose in life.
Source: Mayo Clinic Health Solutions, My Stress Solution: Strategies and Tools to Take Action (Rochester, Minnesota: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2007), 26-28.
Photo credit: Intellimon Ltd.